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 News Jazz 15/05/2007

Soul-jazz Saxophonist Jamie Williams 'Overjoyed' To Have Oscar Winner Jennifer Hudson On His Debut CD

NEW YORK (Top40 Charts/ Jamie Williams Official Website) - "Dreams do come true" and "Timing is everything" are just a couple of time-honored clichés that come to mind when you hear Jamie Williams' story. Ever since he was a young teenager, the saxophonist dreamed of recording an album. In the making for the past ten years, After Hours, his debut collection of R&B, funk, contemporary jazz and pop instrumentals, is finally scheduled for national release July 10th on the Jamie Williams Music record label. The album's producer, Veit Renn (*NSync, Backstreet Boys), connected Williams with Jennifer Hudson. She performed with him at a few of his local concert dates in Orlando, Florida. The two connected and Hudson agreed to sing a version of Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed" for the disc. The single was serviced to radio to preview the album release around the time Hudson won an Academy Award for her role in Dreamgirls.

Williams wrote seven songs for After Hours and collaborated with Renn on another, the breezy, samba-seasoned "Tropica'." The album opens with the edgy jazz-hip-hop mélange "2 Cool." "Better Than Life" is a romantic pop ballad that Williams wrote for his wife, Ana. "Shut Up & Dance" mixes an energizing dance groove, lilting pop melodies and cool jazz nuances. The soulful title track was inspired by Williams' after-hours experiences playing nightclubs. The head-bobbing, booty-shakin' "Can U Feel It?" is a sweaty R&B groove equipped with a potent, feel-good pop hook. "Over The Top" is an aggressive contemporary jazz track with horns a-blazin' that goes for the kill right from the first note. "Calculated Risk" is a sultry mid-tempo soul-jazz cut. Hudson delivers a show-stopping vocal on "Overjoyed," while Williams' sax wonderfully accentuates her performance. Guitarist Bradley Catron wrote the funky, horn section-powered "S.O.S." jam. The album closes with a poignant message of "Love," the Musiq Soulchild original, with RAab (currently touring with Justin Timberlake) providing the passionate vocal chorus.

"After Hours depicts all the feelings and emotions I've experienced. I think we were able to capture the passion I have for music as well. Each tune is different and the record is how I've envisioned it (would turn out) all these years," said a pleased Williams. "It truly is a dream come true to release my debut album. Working with pros like Veit (Renn), RAab and the other musicians on the album was such a blessing. I'm grateful for the energy, ideas and creativity they brought to the record. As for Jennifer (Hudson), well she's a true professional and a pleasure to work with. She's an incredible talent. I'm thrilled to see the success she is having now and honored to have her on the album."

A native of Richardson, Texas, Williams was in high school when he was coaxed into seeing David Sanborn play. The dream to become an artist was born that night. He fully committed himself towards realizing that goal by taking lessons, practicing and jamming with friends, including trumpeter Roy Hargrove. Williams earned a full scholarship to the prestigious University of Miami music school, which lead to gigs with Miami Sound Machine, Jon Secada and Hiram Bullock, Sanborn's long-time guitarist. After graduation, Williams became active with his church and moved to Memphis, Tennessee where he immersed himself in the music scene by playing regular gigs at the House of Blues. Later, he moved to Nashville, where he wrote jingles for Black Entertainment Television, became a session player and coached other musicians and vocalists. Seeing another Sanborn concert while on vacation served as inspiration for launching his solo career. Williams moved to Orlando, formed a hot band and played all the local venues and jazz festivals. It was Catron who introduced him to Renn and everything came together organically for Williams after that.

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